Suspect in St. Croix murder extradited from Puerto Rico
Published: March 7, 2014
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
ST. CROIX - Just more than a month since 34-year-old Wellington Pennyfeather was gunned down in the streets of Fredriksted, one of the men police believe is responsible for his death made his initial appearance in court Thursday, charged with murder and myriad other counts.
Ronald "Indu" Bogan, 19, of William's Delight was arrested and extradited from Puerto Rico on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, Bogan appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks and was advised of his rights on charges of first-degree murder; first-degree assault; third-degree assault; unauthorized possession of a firearm; carrying a dangerous weapon during the commission of a violent crime; failure to report a firearm brought into the territory; possession of ammunition; first-degree reckless endangerment; and unauthorized possession of a firearm within 100 feet of a school, namely the St. Patrick's School.
The affidavit in support of the warrant for Bogan's arrest had been placed under seal by order of V.I. Superior Court Judge Douglas Brady, making details about the specifics of how the crime was carried out and who may be involved available to only the defense and prosecuting attorneys.
At the time of Pennyfeather's murder on Feb. 1, V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames said residents in the Frederiksted area reported hearing multiple gunshots about 7:37 p.m.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found the body of a man - now identified as Pennyfeather - laying in the roadway near the intersection of Market and Queen streets.
Rames said witnesses told police there was an altercation between Pennyfeather and at least one other man, and the man pulled out a gun and fired several shots.
Pennyfeather began to run away from the area, heading south on Queen Street, when he was struck and fell to the ground, according to Rames.
Police put out numerous pleas to the community to come forward with information that could lead to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the shooting.
Bogan subsequently was arrested, and his bail was set at $1 million.
During Bogan's advice-of-rights hearing Thursday, Assistant Public Defender Yolan Brow Ross made a motion asking that he be released on an unsecured bond in the amount of bail. She asked that he be ordered to remain in the third-party custodianship of his mother on 24-hour house arrest without the use of an electronic monitoring device.
Neither Bogan nor his family have the resources to satisfy the bail amount or the financial requirements of an electronic monitoring device, Ross said.
Deputy Attorney General Bruce Marshack objected to those conditions, saying that Bogan had fled the territory using a boat some time after the murder to avoid arrest and prosecution and should be viewed as a flight risk.
According to a statement issued by the V.I. Police Department, detectives collaborated with the Vieques Police force, the Puerto Rico Police Department, Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to arrest Bogan and bring him back to the territory to face charges.
Willocks asked why the prosecution had not moved for detention pending the outcome of the trial if they deem Bogan a flight risk. He said circumstances could change that would allow him to be able to meet bail or other conditions.
Marshack told the court that moving for detention in the case would create a situation of working on an accelerated calendar, and at this point, there are two or three other individuals who police believe acted in concert with Bogan to carry out the murder and they have absconded and remain at large. He said the prosecution does not intend to move for detention unless the court would be inclined to reduce the bail in the case.
Ross proceeded with arraignment and entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Bogan.
Willlocks entered the plea into the record and assigned the case to Superior Court Judge Robert Molloy. Calendar call and discovery deadlines will be scheduled through an order of the court, according to Willocks.
Unable to post bail, Bogan whas been remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility.
Rames said anyone with information about the fatal shooting can call detectives at 712-6030 or 712-6077 or call the Crime Stoppers USVI confidential tip line at 1-800-222-8477.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.